Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Trump deals major blow to Trudeau government's trade plans

Trump deals major blow to Trudeau government's trade plans

Trump is embarking on a high-stakes gamble, cutting a deal with Mexico first, in hopes of forcing Canada to acquiesce.

Mulroney orchestrated the original Canada-Free Trade Agreement in 1988, which evolved into the current NAFTA agreement.

On Thursday afternoon, Freeland described the atmosphere as "constructive" and "positive".

In the news, traders are waiting to hear about a possible escalation of the US-China trade war as a public consultation period on the US administration's intent to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods ends today.

Trump administration officials and Canadian negotiators are resuming talks to try to keep Canada in a North American trade bloc with the United States and Mexico.

But on the sidelines, President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have dug into seemingly irreconcilable positions.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback on Thursday, recovering from a almost seven-week low earlier in the day after a senior Bank of Canada official said the central bank had discussed the pace at which it could raise interest rates. "But one of the things that we know is that once you've gone and divided citizens into small groups ... it actually hurts you capacity to govern for the good of all", said Trudeau.

Trump hinted there might be progress towards a deal with Canada. "We're anxious to move forward with it and anxious to have all three countries involved", he said in the Fox interview.

Strawberry, pepper and tomato farmers, who've sparred with their Mexican counterparts over winter imports for years, argued that the deal does little or nothing to stop Mexican farmers from flooding the US market with below-cost produce. "We'll see, and that depends on the kinds of negotiations we have", he said.

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", Trump wrote - ignoring the fact that the remarks were reported via an anonymous source by the Star, unencumbered by any such restrictions.

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Two White House officials said McCain's family had asked, before the senator's death, that Trump not attend the funeral services. John McCain said goodbye to the man who was an American hero in the eyes of many and synonymous with the Grand Canyon State.

"Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off", he tweeted on Saturday.

For example, Canada is anxious about USA insistence on a sunset clause that would force Canada to recommit every five years to the trade pact or watch it automatically end.

Trump boasted about taking a hard line with Canada at the negotiating table, and has since threatened to cut America's northern neighbor out of a deal if it didn't cave to his demands.

Canada wants a permanent exemption from President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs and the threat of auto tariffs to be removed.

The Americans and Mexicans are in a hurry to sign a deal before U.S. midterm elections in November and the transfer of power to Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the following month.

The letter detailed Canadian trade practices that "may violate Canada's existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging US dairy exports to Canada" and stressed that "districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and can not afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking Tuesday, singled out two issues as important for the country - maintaining some form of anti-dumping dispute panels, and an exemption for cultural industries.

The overall goal is to reach a deal by December 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised NAFTA before Mexico's new president takes office.

There is little popular support in Canada for making concessions to Donald Trump on trade.

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